Depression during and after pregnancy may affect children's development

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Maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy, in the first year postpartum, and in early childhood were linked with poorer child neurodevelopment in a recent Depression & Anxiety study.

In the study that included 2231 mothers, higher average maternal depressive symptoms during and after pregnancy predicted lower total developmental milestones, fine and , communication, problem solving, and personal/social skills when they were assessed in children aged 1.9 to 5.7 years.

"Our findings further suggest that antenatal and post-pregnancy depression have both independent and additive effects on neurodevelopment. Children of mothers with the most chronic and severe depressive symptoms during and after had the most neurodevelopmental disadvantages," said co-lead author Dr. Marius Lahti-Pulkkinen, of the University of Helsinki, in Finland.


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More information: Soile Tuovinen et al, Maternal depressive symptoms during and after pregnancy and child developmental milestones, Depression and Anxiety (2018). DOI: 10.1002/da.22756
Journal information: Depression and Anxiety

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Citation: Depression during and after pregnancy may affect children's development (2018, April 19) retrieved 24 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-04-depression-pregnancy-affect-children.html
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